Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been asked about Kirby Smart the entire week. Obviously, Saban has refused to address reports of Smart taking the UGA head coaching job, but I’m sure he and Smart have had some conversations this week.

It’s obvious that Saban is starting to realize not only what a good coach Smart is, but that he’s also a good friend.

Saban was once again asked about Smart Friday during the SEC Championship coaches’ press conference, and he got a tad bit emotional.

“We’ve worked together for a long, long time,” Saban said Friday. “And … he’s as good of an assistant coach and as loyal of an assistant coach as I’ve ever had on a staff.”

Saban went on to say, “You care about their [coaches] families. You care about their well-being. You understand their goals and aspirations and like to help give them direction so they have a chance to reach those goals and aspirations. So, I’m always happy to see anyone on our staff who has done a great job for us get the opportunity that they’ve worked so hard for.”